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Taekwondo champ's Olympic dream on hold
06:15 AEST Wed May 30 2012

The British Olympic Association (BOA) says it has sought "further clarification" from British Taekwondo over the exclusion of European champion Aaron Cook from the London 2012 Games squad.

Cook, 21, has appealed to the BOA after being left out of the four-strong team chosen by British Taekwondo despite retaining his European under-80kg title in May.

British Taekwondo's performance director Gary Hall backed Cook's inclusion.

But Cook, who last year quit British Taekwondo's world class performance program to train independently, was left out in favour of Lutalo Muhammad, who would have to drop down a weight division to compete at the Olympics.

Cook's omission is all the more curious given he is set to be ranked world number one later this week.

Now the BOA's Olympic qualification standards panel (OQS) - which consists of chief executive Andy Hunt, deputy chefs de mission Sir Clive Woodward and Mark England and Sarah Winckless, chairman of the BOA athletes' commission, - have asked for more details regarding selection policy.

A BOA statement said: "The OQS Panel also seeks to ensure that the process of selecting athletes for Team GB is conducted in a manner that is fair and in accordance with the approved selection procedures.

"Once the OQS Panel has had an opportunity to ask further questions of and receive additional information from the British Taekwondo Selection Committee, it will be in a position to act upon the nomination."

Cook told his Twitter followers on Tuesday: "Encouraging news reports. Thank you to the BOA, I await further news. The dream is still alive..."

He'd previously issued a statement earlier this week in which he said his absence from the Olympic team was "incredible".

Cook argued his decision to opt out of British Taekwondo's own program and go it alone had been held against him in the final selection.

In their own statement, British Taekwondo accepted the selection process "involved some difficult decisions", but maintained their "primary aim has always been to select athletes who have the best potential to win the best set of medals for Great Britain".

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